Barack Obama is struggling to keep his promise to close down Guantanamo Bay, and all because of 47 difficult prisoners. 

But these prisoners aren't difficult in the way that one might expect. The problem they're causing isn't due to attempted escapes or hunger strikes. What makes them difficult is this: Officials don't know what to do with them.

According to ABC News, "They are reportedly too dangerous to be released, but cannot be tried either because the evidence against them is too flimsy or was extracted by coercion." What this means for these prisoners is they will continue to be held without trial. And "coercion" can probably be read as "torture".

Terrorism is a serious crime. But regarding any other offence, in this end of the world, people have a right to a fair trial. Even if the police or government are certain that someone is guilty of something terrible, multiple rapes and murders for example, they are not charged until enough evidence is gathered for a conviction. If it can't be proven that this person is guilty, they remain free.

Apparently, suspecting that somebody might be considering performing an act of terrorist one day is enough to put them away for the rest of their lives without trial.

The point is this: Imagine indefinite imprisonment as being the result of any other suspicion. Suppose, perhaps, the police knocked your door down one morning and put you in the back of a van. Later, you're thrown in a cell and told you're there because you were suspected of planning to poison a local water supply. You're questioned, perhaps waterboarded now and then, but no charges are brought against you.

Eight years later, you're still in prison. You begin to hear rumours that the facility which has held you for so long may be about to close. The new boss of the country has promised that people will no longer be treated in the way that you have endured. One by one, inmates are released. Hope grows until the day you're called into an office. The conversation goes like this:

"We still think you were planning on poisoning a water supply."
"I wasn't, though."
"We don't believe you. But we don't have any evidence."
"So you're going to release me?"
"Then what's going to happen?"
"You're going to be here until we have enough evidence to keep you here for the rest of your life."
"What if you never find any evidence?"
"Then we're going to keep you here for the rest of your life."

This is worse than McCarthyism. This is a witch-hunt: If they don't drown, they're burned.